Texas Team Secures State Supreme Court Victory on Behalf of Skilled Nursing Facility

Houston, Texas (March 4, 2022) - Houston Appellate Partner Sean Higgins, with Dallas Partners Nichol Bunn and Amber R. Pickett, recently secured a significant win on behalf of Lewis Brisbois' client, a skilled nursing facility, when the Texas Supreme Court overturned a ruling that required the facility to turn over five years' worth of policies and procedures during "pre-report" discovery in a case filed by a former patient.

As reported in the Law360 article titled, "Texas Justices Nix Early Discovery In Medical Malpractice Suit," the plaintiff in the underlying matter alleged she had fractured several bones during her stay at the facility. After suing Lewis Brisbois' client, the plaintiff requested documents related to the facility's general operating policies and procedures for the five years prior to filing suit. The Dallas Court of Appeals had determined that the plaintiff was entitled to these materials and ordered Lewis Brisbois' client to produce them.

The Texas Supreme Court, however, ultimately held that general policies and procedures of healthcare facilities do not fall within the narrow scope of discovery allowed in medical liability cases before an expert report is filed. Justice Jane Bland authored the opinion, which explained the narrow scope of discovery permitted during a 120-day litigation window before a medical malpractice plaintiff must serve an expert report supporting their theory of liability.

Mr. Higgins is a member of Lewis Brisbois' Appellate and Toxic Tort & Environmental Litigation Practices. He represents clients in appellate courts in Texas, California, Michigan and in various federal circuits, including the Fifth, Sixth and Tenth Circuits.

Ms. Bunn serves as a vice-chair of Lewis Brisbois' Healthcare, Medical Malpractice, and Long-Term Care & Elder Law Practices. She has extensive experience handling cases involving various types of healthcare institutions and individual healthcare providers.

Ms. Pickett is a member of Lewis Brisbois' Healthcare Practice. She focuses her practice on representing a wide array of healthcare institutions as well as individual healthcare providers in a variety of healthcare-related matters.

Read the full Law360 article here (subscription may be required).

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